The choir sang a song Sunday that ministers to me every time I hear the words. “I love you, more and more each day. You are wonderful to me. And I’m striving to live a life that brings glory to your name. Because I love you Lord, more and more each day.”
The days leading up to Sunday, the long eventful week, had my energy on lockdown and my heart expectant of a jolt. I needed something from God. Truth is, I’m finding I need Him more and more. And as much as I realize I need Him, I’m finding I truly love Him. I love Him more with each day, with each lesson, with each test of life. The words of the song were the jolt I needed. They were an awakening that reminded me of who God is and my desire to live a life that is pleasing to Him.
Tell the Lord you love Him in the midst of everything you have going on in your life. Stop in the stillness of a moment and say, “I love you Lord.”
I was raised with the nugget, authenticity matters. It matters, not because it’s impressive, but it matters because it’s decent. The alternative, according to my parents growing up, was unacceptable. Fake and phony had no place in the way my siblings and I were to interact with one another, with family, friends or even strangers. My husband was raised the same way. Likewise, we have raised our children with the same teaching. However, I’m learning authenticity and decency are not nuggets everyone wants.
Who wants to be truthful, faithful or dependable when pleasure is a competing option? Who wants to be “unpopular” in today’s fan and follower hierarchical systems? Decent practices stick out like sore thumbs in our society and they only receive the undivided attention of others when crisis plagues the landscape and threatens the horizon. Well, here we are. Our copious days of crises are leading us all to a crucible. To be authentic or not to be. To be decent or not to be. No rocket science here, just a decision in humanness. Some have made the pivotal decision, evidenced by the discussion of authenticity in board rooms, mission statements, and its bold presence on the lips of transforming leaders. Authenticity is the new buzz word that trumps fake and phony and yields innovation and lasting fruit.
Authenticity is stirring an uprising in our midst. It competes with selfish tendencies and practices. It competes with the belief, “Fake it till you make it.” It competes with systems and processes that reward popularity vs. substance. This uprising lifts up God’s way. Be truthful, be faithful, be dependable. Someone is depending on your decision to do so. Authenticity matters.
Some things need to be said, again and again. “We’re not promised tomorrow.” These words can cut deep in hindsight and in pressing through. However, these words are lived, rather than mourned, when we embrace the “right now” moment God is allowing us to experience, for what will later be revealed as gathered parts of a whole that will all work together for our good (Romans 8:28).
We are inundated with reminders in our news, communities and families that indeed tomorrow is not promised. Yet, we must fight the urge to feel helpless or hopeless. We must succumb to a “a-ha” moment that illuminates a “yes”, eyes wide open, to a new perspective of our present moments. The Bible reminds in Romans 12:2 that a new perspective is a transformation, a renewing of the mind that allows us to figure out what God’s will is – what is good and pleasing and mature (Common English Bible).
Love more and despise less. Look to the sidelines rather than the spotlight. Walk in the beauty that is your story and refuse to wallow in comparisons. Run toward the weary, the mistreated and left behind. And resist the adversary in all of its forms of deception and hostility. Let’s run our race like God is watching. Let’s run our race like our tomorrow depends on it.